Motorcyclists are vulnerable on the road. There is no question about that. Other motorists on streets and highways, sometimes, lack awareness of a motorcycle’s presence. And these drivers of cars, pickups, SUVs and 18-wheelers wind up making mistakes that can lead to catastrophic and fatal injuries to motorcyclists and their passengers.
Even when taking the best precautions, motorcyclists may find themselves in collisions that were not due to anything they did. Rather, it was poor and, sometimes, reckless decisions made by other drivers. Many times, these drivers are not aware of the blunders that they commit.
Left turn in front of motorcyclist
As much as motorcyclists may want to shake their fists in frustration at drivers who nearly collided with them, they must keep their hands on the handlebars. Quick decisions are necessary to avoid a crash, otherwise, motorcyclists may find themselves in the hospital or have loved ones mourn over their deaths.
A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted that an estimated 84,000 motorcyclists sustained injuries in the U.S. in 2019. In addition, more than 5,000 motorcyclists died that year. With 416 such fatalities in 2019, Texas accounted for more than 8% of those deaths.
Here are mistakes most often made by motorists when sharing the road with motorcyclists:
- A driver makes a left turn in front of you: Drivers, sometimes, misjudge the distance between their vehicle and an oncoming motorcycle as well as the speed of the motorcycle. They think they can safely make the turn but wind up in a serious collision. The NHTSA noted that 34% of all motorcyclist deaths occurred at intersections in 2019.
- A driver makes a lane change, swerving into a motorcycle’s path: Car drivers, sometimes, fail to check their blind spots, where their vision is obscured. This can lead to an avoidable collision. Distracted and inattentive driving also may be at the root of this mistake.
- A driver crashes into the rear of a motorcycle: This can happen to any motorcyclist stopped at a stop sign, traffic signal, crosswalk or intersection. The driver just does not see you and strikes you from behind.
Many collisions that involve motorcycles and larger vehicles are preventable. Mistakes made by non-motorcycle drivers are often attributed to poor judgment, distraction, inattentiveness and recklessness. Motorcyclists must continue to take great care.